Goal Setting - The What

Continuing to dive into our goal setting, you have now determined your Why, let’s move on and discuss the ‘What’. There are a lot of questions you’re going to have to ask yourself before you make realistic goals.


- What am I hoping to get out of this?
- What does my time look like?
- What is my financial situation?
- What changes do I need to make in and out of class to align with my goals?
The list goes on and on!

Asking and answering the ‘what’ questions starts to make things more realistic and will also determine if you’re both on the right track and if the goals are achievable. For example, having one hour a week or 12 hours a week to dedicate to your goals is substantially different. While this seems a little to obvious to mention, it’s not surprising that expectations and reality can sometimes be a little far apart.


Ok, so now what?! (so many whats!) After determining why you want to do things and what your life looks like, start to put those things together to decide what you want your year to look like. There are many different types of goals you can have and I suggest making a few from each category. Some examples include:

  • Just doing it is the win. When we think of goals, it’s usually trying to accomplish something or be better at something. I think it’s healthy to have goals where the whole point is to show up. You don’t have to be good at it, you don’t have to get any move or excel in any matter. You can be horrible at it, in fact, and it will be kind of hilarious if you are. These are my favorite classes - when you are so out of your element that there are zero expectations (me in a contemporary dance class… when do we grab our crotches and bang our shoes together?! Oh wait… we don’t do that in this class…). The whole win was just doing it and that’s the accomplishment! Examples could be to try an exotic dance class if you lean more towards contemporary or lyrical or vice versa. Try a class with an apparatus if you prefer to dance and vice versa. Take a barre or active flexibility class to cross-train. The whole point is to put all expectations aside, and just try it. You may find you really enjoy moving differently!

  • Timeline Goal - Timeline goals are similar to the Just Do It goals where showing up is the point. This can be that you either want to do something by a specific date or that you stick with something over a specific time. This encourages you to be consistent. Examples could be that you take at least one barre class a week for 12 weeks, or register for at least one fundamental class every session, or perform in a showcase by the end of the year. While the Just Do It goals may be more of a one time thing, the timeline goals encourage consistency.

  • Physical Goals - Last are the goals of what we usually think of, physically accomplishing something. Examples of this include getting to a certain fundamentals class by the end of the year, learning a Brass Monkey in Pole or getting your splits. These goals are great because they can get you focused on sticking with something and putting a lot of time and effort to accomplish something. If you want to get your splits, you need to dedicate a lot of time and energy into working towards that. The tricky thing about these goals is sometimes they require a lot more time and effort than a person thinks. Or we may not know how much time and effort it will take for our bodies to get there. If you have physical goals for the New Year, chat with your instructor to see if that’s tangible for you in the timeline you want. This will give you realistic expectations of how long things will take. For example, my handspring took me a year to get and I know this is the case for many instructors. If you are in Beginner 2 and your goal is to get your handspring by the end of the year, that may not be doable. It doesn’t mean that you will never do it, it may just mean that you may not do it in the time you first thought. Talk with your instructors to help set realistic timelines and to get ideas of how to get there in a safe and effective manner that works for you. This will set you up for success and keep you excited about your goals ahead.

Take the next week or two to jot down some realistic goals for yourself. Try aim for a couple in each category to have a balanced, fun yet challenging year!

Stilettos and Sparkles,


Sarah Longpre